Wade Phillips, Jim Haslett, Bob Stoops among eight XFL coaching hires

The XFL has finalized the hiring of all eight head coaches for its 2023 return to the field, owners Dany Garcia and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announced Wednesday on ESPN's Get Up!

The list includes former NFL head coaches Wade Phillips and Jim Haslett, as well as longtime Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops, who served a similar role during the XFL's pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The remainder of the coaches are all former NFL players: Terrell Buckley, Hines Ward, Rod Woodson, Reggie Barlow and Anthony Becht.

Individual team assignments will be made at a later date. The league has not yet announced whether it will play in local markets, as it did in 2001 and 2020, or if it will operate from a central location.

The XFL's coaching news is among a series of announcements it has made this week, including the hiring of Dean Blandino as vice president of officiating and playing rules innovation. It has also reached an exclusive agreement with the NFL Alumni Academy to help develop players.

The flurry of news has come as the rival USFL is scheduled to make its debut Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama, where it will stage almost all of its 2022 season.

Garcia, Johnson and investors at RedBird Capital have been building out the XFL since acquiring it in bankruptcy court for $15 million in August 2020. The league hired former Buffalo Bills executive Russ Brandon as league president in November 2021, and the football operations staff is now led by former New York Giants executive Marc Ross and former Bills general manager Doug Whaley.